An Assessment of Impact of Poverty on Female Headed Households in Kangemi, Kenya
The prevalence and incidence of poverty among women and female headed households is a subject of feminization of poverty debate. The overall objective of the study was to assess the impact of poverty in female headed households in Kangemi, Nairobi. Guided by structural theory the study used cross-sectional descriptive design to assess the social impacts of poverty in female headed households and mitigation pathways adopted to reduce the impact. Using purposive sampling, the study relied on data from females heading households for in-depth interviews and Focus Group Discussion, and community workers for Key Informant Interviews. The findings indicated that female headed households experience stigma and exclusion arising from poverty and marital status. The impact of poverty is felt in pervasiveness of social problems such as child labor, prostitution, and unwanted teenage pregnancy. Female headed households however engage in savings and welfare groups and an amalgam of income generating activities to mitigate the social impact of poverty. The study concludes that female headed households experience impact of poverty because of the traditional gender inequalities that serve to justify and maintain socioeconomic inequalities. It therefore recommends that urban socioeconomic and empowerment programs need to focus on addressing social and structural barriers exposing female headed households to poverty.
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